Alitalia, one of the most famous airlines in the history of aviation, will stop operating in the next few hours, after 74 years of service. On the night of this Thursday it will take off the Cagliari-Rome flight, Final point for the Italian airline, which could not overcome the economic ups and downs.
The company through which lThe popes of Rome have made 169 trips around the world, will give way to a new flag airline: Italy Air Transport (ITA), which will have 52 aircraft and 3,000 of Alitalia’s 11 employees.
Meanwhile, the nearly 8,000 unemployed people generated by the closure of Alitalia have gathered to protest at the Fiumicino airport in Rome. “Today is the last day of the company thanks to an Italian policy that has not helped us and some incompetent leaders. We have protested but they have not listened to us, ”said Simonetta, a 31-year-old employee. Another worker, Daniele, 35 years old at Alitalia, defined the situation as “A social disaster” that will affect “especially the youngest workers”.
Barbara, with 25 years in the company, assured that “we have found ourselves without work from today to tomorrowWe are not of retirement age and we do not know what we will do. We are fathers and mothers and there is fear of the future “.
The history of Alitalia
Alitalia’s history dates back to 1947, when the maiden flight between Rome and Turin. Over the years, it became one of the most popular airlines in the world. It was an official sponsor of the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 and in the following years it opened routes in Asia and America.
Years later, trouble came. ANDn the 90s there was a failed merger with Air France. That project was completed in 1997 with the Dutch KLM. As part of the agreement, Alitalia was to relocate the distribution center from Rome to Milan, as well as close almost all flights from Linate airport. However, KLM broke the agreement in 2000 and talk of privatization began.
In 2007, there was an agreement for the offer of KLM and Air France and a few months later the French airline withdrew, since Silvio Berlusconi returned to power in Italy and the operation did not materialize. Then, the idea of a national consortium of entrepreneurs arose: CAI, the union of Alitalia and the airline Airone, with Air France-KLM as a strategic partner with 25 percent of the capital.
In the next five years, there were three CEO changes and at the end of 2013 a recapitalization had to be resorted to, without Air France. With a subsequent capital increase, The state-run Italian Mail entered, with 75 million euros.
On August 8, 2014, Etihad Airways announced the purchase of 49 percent of Alitalia, and in 2017 a new financial crisis occurred, which led to a shareholders’ meeting, which approved the extraordinary administration of the company. Etihad and the minority shareholders withdrew. The Italian government had to grant bridge loans to Alitalia for 1.3 billion euros.
This is how ITA was created in 2020. The Government promised the European Union not to turn over more than 1.35 billion euros until 2023. 700 million are planned in 2021. The new company negotiates with the unions. Although it starts with 3,000 employees, the idea is to reach 5,700 in 2025. Just as it begins operating with 52 aircraft, it is estimated to reach 78 ships in 2022 and 105 by the end of 2025.